On-Going Instruction in the Principles of Christianity
2020 Jubilee 2021
YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST - 7/26/2020
(“MYSTERY OF FAITH”, ENYCLICAL LETTER OF POPE PAUL VI)
On September 3rd, 1965 (Feast of Pope St. Pius X), while the Second Vatican Council was still in session, Pope Paul VI promulgated an Encyclical Letter on the Holy Eucharist, re-affirming all of the traditional dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church and specifically refuting errors which were then gaining ground within the Church. Fifty-five years later his Encyclical Mysterium Fidei remains a valuable resource as a clear exposition of the Church’s belief in the Holy Eucharist.
Contemporary Errors named:
“There are some who, with reference either to Masses which are celebrated in private, or to the dogma of Transubstantiation, or to devotion to the Eucharist, spread abroad opinions which disturb the faithful and fill their minds with no little confusion about matters of faith. It is as if everyone were permitted to consign to oblivion doctrine already defined by the Church, or else to interpret it in such a way as to weaken the genuine meaning of the words or the recognized force of the concepts involved.
To confirm what we have said by examples, it is not allowed to emphasize what is called the ‘communal’ Mass to the disparagement of Masses celebrated in private, or to exaggerate the element of sacramental sign as if the symbolism, which all certainly admit in the Eucharist, expresses fully and exhausts completely the mode of Christ’s presence in this Sacrament. Nor is it allowable to discuss the mystery of Transubstantiation without mentioning what the Council of Trent stated about the marvelous conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood of Christ, speaking rather only of what is called ‘transignification’ and ‘transfinalization’ or finally to propose and act upon the opinion according to which, in the Consecrated Hosts, which remain after the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass, Christ Our Lord is no longer present.
Everyone cane see that the spread of these and similar opinions does great harm to the faith and devotion of the Divine Eucharist.
And therefore, so that the hope aroused by the Council, that a flourishing of eucharistic piety which is now pervading the whole Church, be not frustrated by this spread of false opinions, We have with Apostolic Authority decided to address you, venerable brothers, and to express Our mind on this subject.